Second stimulus check calculator: Find the size of your estimated payment

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Our calculator tool helps you estimate how much money you could get in your second stimulus check.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Second stimulus checks are in the process of going out now, and our stimulus check calculator can help you in two big ways. The first, naturally, is to estimate how much money your household could receive. That’s because for tens of millions of people, calculating the size of your second stimulus payment isn’t as simple as multiplying all the people in your household by 600 or dividing your first “$1,200” payment in half. The IRS stimulus check formula just doesn’t work like that.

Your actual stimulus figure comes down to a combination of second stimulus check qualifications that include the new income limit — many more people will be disqualified because of it — your AGI and the age of your kids. Then, there’s how quickly you receive your next stimulus payment through direct deposit, paper check or EIP card, and what happens if your check misses the Jan. 15 cutoff. By the way, as of Jan. 1, any hope for a $2,000 payment to replace the $600 amount died in the Senate, so the $600 maximum going out right now is the final sum to work with. 

The second reason you want to use our stimulus check calculator is to compare your estimated second stimulus check total with the payment you actually receive, to make sure the two numbers more or less align. A major deviation could indicate a calculation error, and a need to potentially claim your missing stimulus money using the IRS’ Recovery Rebate Credit. When the IRS tracking tool goes live, you can use that to work out when your payment will arrive. You can also track your paper check right to your mailbox starting now. This story was recently updated.

Calculate your second stimulus payment here

You’ll need:

CNET’s stimulus calculator follows the formula the IRS uses to tabulate your household’s second stimulus payment, but note that it should be considered an estimate, not a guarantee of the IRS’ final check to you. The calculator does not store or share your personal information. 

Calculate your second stimulus payment

Use details from your 2019 tax return.

1. Choose your filing status below.

Estimate your total with a $2,000 third stimulus check

Immediately after signing the new COVID-relief bill on Dec. 27 that authorized the $600 payments, President Donald Trump asked Congress to adjust the amount to a $2,000 maximum for eligible adults. That won’t happen this round. It’ll be up to a new Congress sworn in Jan. 3 to decide how much money a third stimulus check may have.

However, we wanted to provide a way to compare your total as a hypothetical, or in case a future bill passes in 2021 that authorizes a $2,000 upper limit. This calculator uses the same eligibility rules as for the $600 check, including the $600 you could receive on behalf of each child dependent.

Calculate your stimulus payment

Use details from your 2019 or 2018 tax return, whichever is most recent.

1. Choose your filing status below.

If you’re not required to file taxes, how to use this calculator

As with the first checks, the IRS will automatically send stimulus checks to many who normally aren’t required to file a tax return — including older adults, Social Security and SSDI and SSI recipients, certain veterans and railroad retirees. The IRS refers loosely to this group as nonfilers.

If you fall in one of these categories, enter your best guess in the calculator where it asks for your adjusted gross income.


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Eligibility essentials for a second stimulus payment

Broadly, here’s who is eligible for money with the second stimulus payment. With the new law, payments top out at $600 apiece, and as you reach the upper AGI limit, the amount of your check will decrease. A family of four that qualifies, for example, could receive up to $2,400. For a complete breakdown, check out our stimulus check qualifications guide.

To get the full $600 stimulus per person, either:

  • As an individual without qualifying children, you have an adjusted gross income of up to $75,000 (this completely phases out at $87,000, down from the $99,000 used for the first check).
  • You file as the head of a household (you claim children) and earn under $112,500.
  • You file jointly without children and earn less than $150,000 and no more than $174,000 (down from $198,000 from the first check).
  • Any dependent child under age 17 will count for an additional $600.

Note, if you don’t qualify for a second stimulus check based on 2019 data but you would qualify based on your 2020 financial situation, you will not receive a second check this year. However, you can get that amount as a credit against your 2020 taxes.

If you qualify based on 2019 tax information but will be over the limit in 2020, you will receive a second check and do not need to repay it.

Who isn’t qualified for this new payment?

We have a list of people who may not qualify for a second stimulus check. If you are over the income limit, a nonresident alien or a dependent 17 years of age or older, you won’t qualify for a check. The People’s Policy Project think tank estimates 13.5 million adult dependents will be excluded under the requirements, including 7.3 million students.

For everything to know about the second payment, see what else is in the new stimulus legislation, when the IRS could start sending checks and what we know about renewed federal unemployment benefits in the new law.

source: cnet.com

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